Friday, December 03, 2004

Fingerprint system crash

It seems that the UK's national automated fingerprint identification system (Nafis) crashed on Wednesday, the 24th of November and was shut down until this Monday, 29th November. It's a coincidence that it happened in ths same week that the benefits system crashed and must have been a major pain particularly for the scenes of crimes officers who need it for their day to day work, as well as numerous others in the law enforcement chain.

Whilst sympathising with the folks who needed the system to work, you can't help but think of the irony that almost exactly a month earlier, on Monday, the 25th of October, the EU's Council of justice and home affairs ministers were deciding, at a meeting in Luxembourg, to force though fingerprints on passports for all EU citizens. The UK system, according to the Independent article, has 4 million entries and operated effectively trouble free until the recent crash. What happens when a system with entries relating to a population of 450 million collapses?

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